Structural equation modelling of consumer acceptance of genetically modified (GM) food in the Mediterranean Europe: a cross country study

M Costa-Font, JM Gil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is some agreement in the food policy literature in that inception of genetic modification (GM) techniques in food production conveys both opportunities and risks which are found to differ across heterogeneous populations, which calls for a better understanding of behavioural responses to risk and benefit information . One of the major limitations of previous behavioural research lies in taking into account food values and trust in information sources in a way that causality is accounted for. This paper contributes to the literature by examining the behavioural process that drives individual’s perceptions of GM food taking advantage of an empirical choice methodology that corrects for endogeneity in decision making relationships, namely structural equation modelling. We report the results of an empirical application to conceptualise food decision making in three specific Mediterranean countries, namely Spain, Italy and Greece. Our first major finding indicates that public attitudes toward GM food are being formed from a reasoning mechanism that departs from trust in science and in public authorities, ultimately determining consumer’s final purchasing decisions. Our second important finding suggests marked differences in the reasoning mechanism that lead to the acceptance of GM food in the three countries examined suggesting different food communication strategies to each culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-409
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Volume20
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes

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